Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Worth the Risk

Worth the Risk by Heather B. Moore

Alicia has moved back home to Pine Valley to help her mom, whose hoarding problem is out of control. While working as a hostess at a local restaurant, she runs into Jeff Finch--her former best friend and the guy who broke her heart ten years ago. Alicia wants to believe she has moved on, but when Jeff reaches out to her and wants to renew their friendship, she finds herself wanting to reconnect--but is there a way for them or is it too late?

This is a sweet contemporary romance that moved well and that had realistic, compelling struggles. Alicia just tugged at my heart as she tried to help her mother and it just seemed so hopeless, and I liked seeing how Jeff really tried to support her and be a good friend to her. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

A Light on the Hill

A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette

Ever since she was captured and taken to Jericho, where she was branded before being rescued, Moriyah has kept her face veiled and stayed close to home, not wanting to bring further shame to her family as those who see her gossip and speculate about what happened to her. When her father tells her he has found a match for her, Moriyah is surprised and nervous, especially since her betrothed, Raviv, does not seem particularly kind and obviously only wants her dowry. Still, she wants to honor her father, but when she tries to prepare a special meal for Raviv and his sons, the unthinkable happens, and Moriyah must flee, heading for a sanctuary city in an attempt to save her life long enough to receive a fair trial. Along her perilous journey, she finds unexpected allies--including the God she thought had abandoned her years before.

I was hooked from the very beginning of this book. I absolutely loved Moriyah's story. She was such a compelling character. The plot was so interesting--it was so fascinating to see what it might have been like for someone who needed to seek refuge in these cities. I absolutely loved seeing Moriyah's developing romance, too. All around great read! I loved it!

 I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Sea before Us

The Sea before Us by Sarah Sundin

Wyatt has fled home after an accident led to the death of his brother's fiancee. Feeling guilty for his mistakes and sins, Wyatt joins the Navy, and now he's a part of planning the invasion of Normandy. Stationed in England, he works alongside British officers to play the attack--including a female officer, Dorothy, and is drawn to her. He doesn't feel he deserves happiness because of what he's done, but as Dorothy encourages him to reconcile with his family, he finds himself hoping that just maybe he can get forgiveness from his family and maybe, if Dorothy ever realize the man she's been pining after isn't right for her, a chance with her. 

Dorothy has lost her mother and two brothers to the war, and her father has completely shut himself off from her. Although it hurts her to know her own father doesn't love her, she takes her duty to care for him seriously, and when he won't respond to the possibility of embezzling going on in his company, Dorothy asks Wyatt to take a look at the books. As he helps her, Dorothy finds herself comparing him to Lawrence Eaton, the man she's longed for for ages, and how Wyatt seems to care for her as she is, while with Lawrence, she has to suppress who she truly is. And when Wyatt encourages her to return to church, she begins to reconsider her relationship with God, whom she has come to fear and distrust.

I was totally hooked by this book. I've never read anything by Sarah Sundin before, but I'll be adding her to my need-to-read-everything-of-hers-I-can-find list. Wyatt and Dorothy were such well-developed characters; their motivations and desires, their hurts and their hopes, were so realistic. I enjoyed seeing both of them resolve spiritual concerns, and I love learning more about history, so it was really neat to see some behind-the-scenes D-Day preparations. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

 I read a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

5 stars!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Night in Grosvenor Square

A Night in Grosvenor Square

This is a great collection of clean Regency romances. These are three of my favorite authors, and I love their latest novellas!

A Match for Princess Pompous by Sarah M. Eden
Odette has spend her Seasons earning the nickname "Princess Pompous"--because if no one likes her, no one can ask for her hand and her parents can't push her into a marriage she doesn't want. And if her beloved Jack is successful in dodging Miss Summerfield for the remainder of the Season, then maybe, just maybe, when they return to their country homes, Odette and Jack can convince their parents to allow them to wed. The two receive an unexpected complication, though, when Odette's parents hire Adelaide Northrup--a matchmaker--to find their daughter a match.

The idea of a matchmaker was awesome; I don't think I've read another Regency story with that plot line, so it was a fun and unique aspect to the story, and I enjoyed seeing how Mrs. Northrup sorted things out. I sincerely hope we see more of her in future stories, because she was great. I also liked Jack's friend Terrance quite a bit. I love Sarah Eden's stories, and this was no exception.

Confections and Pretense by Annette Lyon
While Anne Preston dreams of opening her own shop someday, for now, she works at someone else's shopping, crafting desserts and trying not to let her loneliness tear her apart. When a handsome American visits the shop, she is drawn to him and can't help thinking about him, even though she knows an impoverished old maid like her could never be a match for someone like him. But Davis Whitledge doesn't hold with British class ideals, and the more he sees of Anne, the more he wants to see her.

This was so interesting, as the characters weren't the typical ones you see in a Regency romance. While I love traditional Regencies, I also really enjoy seeing what life was like for people besides those in the high Society.

Little London by Heather Moore
When Ellen dances in a meadow near her home, imagining she's at ball in London, she doesn't expect to be seen by anyone. But Quinn Edwards sees her--and dances with her. And when he returns to London, he can't get her out of his thoughts, but he also isn't sure how, as a marquess, he can make a match with the daughter of a country tradesman. This was just a delightful story. Ellen and Quinn were just terrific characters; I loved them. Quinn's brother Robert was pretty great, too. This was sweet and funny and just a great read!

I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cover Reveal for VEINS OF GOLD by Charlie N. Holmberg

Cover Reveal for VEINS OF GOLD by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release date: July 17, 2018

A new historical fantasy novel from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg:


Desperate to save her siblings from poverty, a young woman discovers magic fueled by gold . . . and a love for the man who wields it.

Abandoned by their father for the gold rush, Gentry and her siblings labor to survive alone in the inhospitable west. When bizarre natural disasters begin wreaking havoc on the land, Gentry discovers a world of magic. Desperate for help, she accepts aid from a mysterious stranger.

Winn not only sees the magic, but controls its hunger by feeding it gold—the very thing Gentry’s father left to acquire. But the earth’s unrest only grows worse, and Gentry’s fear leads her to a terrible choice: marry a wealthy man she does not love, or trust in Winn’s unpredictable power to save her family.

Other Books by Charlie N. Holmberg:
The Paper Magician
The Glass Magician
The Master Magician
The Plastic Magician
Followed by Frost
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
The Fifth Doll

Amazon pre-order link for VEINS OF GOLD:

Goodreads link for VEINS OF GOLD:

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Lacemaker

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Lady Elisabeth "Liberty" Lawson, the daughter of a staunch Tory is engaged (not very happily) to one of her father's associates, Miles Roth. She misses her mother, whose support of the Patriot cause led her husband to ship her off to England. When many Tories flee Williamsburg, Liberty is still at home when her townhouse is raided and most of the servants flee. While her fiancé bows out of their betrothal, his cousin, Patriot Noble Rynallt can't turn his back on the young woman. Although the world as she has known it is falling apart, as she tries to find a place for herself as a lacemaker, Liberty finds herself drawn to Noble and to his cause, even as her father demands that she aid him and the Tories.

Laura Frantz's stories are beautifully crafted, and this book is no exception. The details make it so you feel like you're right there with the characters. Noble was pretty dreamy, with his quiet strength and goodness, and Liberty's story, as she must decide what she believes and who she is loyal to, was engaging and well-told. I think this is my favorite of Laura Frantz's books! 4.5 stars.

I read a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

In 1958, the high schools in Little Rock, Arkansas are closed in attempt to prevent desegregation. Twelve-year-old Marlee still attends her junior high, and her father, a teacher who seems in favor of desegregation, still has his job. However, Marlee's mother, who is supposed to teach at a high school and whose position on segregation Marlee's not really sure of, reports to an empty classroom, and her sister Judy is eventually sent to live with their grandmother so she can attend school. At school, Marlee, who doesn't talk to anyone outside her family meets a new girl, Liz, who befriends her and helps her start to find her voice. However, when another classmate finds out that Liz is actually "colored," Liz has to leave school. Faced with the loss of her first real friend, Marlee starts to realize what her feelings about integration are, what friendship is worth, and that some things are worth speaking up for.

I loved this book. I loved Marlee and seeing her growth, and Liz was so smart and spunky; she was great. I loved seeing Marlee's evolving relationships with her family members, too. I loved learning more about this time in history. I'd heard about the Little Rock Nine, of course, but I don't know if I'd ever heard about the Lost Year before. I found this book to be very readable and while I found it to be so interesting just for my own reading, I wish my kids were older so I could share this book with them! This book is a great discussion book--there's a lot of stuff to talk about. This was a really powerful story.

I listened to the audiobook and I loved the narrator.

5 stars.

Friday, January 5, 2018

For Castle and Crown

For Castle and Crown by Sian Ann Bessey

When Lord Edmund returns from fighting alongside King Richard in the Crusades, he finds that his brother has died in a fire and he is now the duke. He also finds that his childhood friend, Pippa, was injured in the fire, and while she has relocated to a nearby convent to heal, Edmund finds himself hoping she won't take her vows to become a nun. As he sets about to rebuild his burned castle, Edmund also must defend his right to be duke from those who are hoping to replace him. As the dangers around them increase, Pippa realizes she's stronger than she thought and that, working with Edmund, she can contribute more than she believed.
This is my favorite of Sian Ann Bessey's books; I was really drawn into the story. I loved little details about the characters, like how Edmund is bad at dancing and Pippa is good at throwing knives. I also really liked the setting--I haven't read very many medieval stories, so it was really interesting to take a look at that time period, including the relationship the Welsh people nearby. I really liked Edmund's and Pippa's developing romance, set in the larger story, and I appreciate the fact that the conflict in the story wasn't (like so many other books) mainly about each of them believing the other could never possibly want to have a relationship. I loved seeing their loyalty and strength. This was a really enjoyable book!

 I received a free review copy. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Nobleman's Daughter

The Nobleman's Daughter by Jen Geigle Johnson

As a daughter of a duke, Lady Amanda enjoys all the comforts and privileges of being a gentleman's daughter. However, as she becomes aware of the struggles of the lower class--of their desires for better options for there lives, including education and a voice in the political system--she is sympathetic to their cause and determined to find a way that she can help. As a cover for her activities, she acts like an empty-headed flirt at society events. Nathaniel, the son of a duke, is all too happy to flirt with her--and she's drawn to him while simultaneously worried that he's nothing more than the rake he pretends to be, one who will never understand her desire to help the common people. Nathaniel has Amanda's father's permission to court her, and he is fascinated by the glimpses he gets of her real self, as he is deeply involved in the fight for freedom. However, he doesn't think he can show Amanda his true loyalties--but if he doesn't, she might never accept him as a suitor.

I don't particularly like this cover, and the I don't like the title. Why do so many books refer to women in relation to some man? That's annoying in general but particularly in this case where Amanda longs for freedom and she's very much her own person and doesn't need to be referred to by her relationship to her father. Other than those two things, though, I really enjoyed the book. I thought the plot was so interesting and fresh--while I enjoy traditional Regency stories, I really liked the look at the class structure, the desire for freedom, and the Peterloo massacre (which I'd never even heard of before). I love it when a historical romance introduces me to a new aspect of history, and this one definitely delivered on that.

I received a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

4 stars.